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apps

Widgets are always one of our favorite parts of Android devices, and sometimes finding a useful widget can be a difficult task. If you enjoy widgets, and are looking for some different ones for your device, be sure to hit the break with us and check out some of our favorites.

Sean Brunett - Beautiful Widgets

Beautiful Widgets

Since we’re doing widgets this week, I feel like I should highlight the widgets I use beautiful widgetsmore than any other: Beautiful Widgets is a collection of widgets that provide very useful actions for your Android device. With the app you get a bunch of toggle widgets including WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, GPS, Vibrate, Silent, 4G and Rotate. In addition, there is a gorgeous weather and time widget that will display the current conditions wherever you happen to be. This was one of the first apps I installed on my device and one that I recommend to new users almost immediately. It costs $2.88 from the Android Market, but it is worth every penny. Very recently the developers added support for Honeycomb (currently in beta), so check it out if you have a Xoom. [Market Link]

Menno - Taskos

Taskos

On its surface, Taskos looks like a simple To-Do list app, but it has a couple of features taskosthat I really enjoy. The first, to follow the theme for this week, is the widget. Other apps (like Wunderlist) might have a slicker looking UI, but they don't have a widget option, and I like being able to just swipe right on my home screen and glance and what I have to do. More importantly, the widget lets me add new tasks without having to launch the application, which is really nice if I want to add something short. Secondly, Taskos will sync automatically with Google Tasks but this is a common enough feature. As petty as it sounds, the reason I use this app over the others is that it allows me to "swipe" right to mark a task complete, which is a neat little UI tweak. Available for Free in the Android Market. [Market Link]

Jared DiPane - Circle Battery Widget

circle battery widget

Android's battery meters are at times deceiving, and not always accurate circle batteryto the actual remaining battery life of the device. Personally I don't enjoy to clutter my notification bar with an extra battery meter to show the percentages, but circle battery widget was the perfect solution for me. With various sizes, and the ability to change the color of the widget it allows for use with nearly any screen set up and wallpaper preference. The market has a free, as well as a paid version, so if you enjoy to know your battery percentage, and love the novelty of widgets, be sure to check this out! [Market Link]

Kyle Gibb - Calendar Pad

calendar-pad

Calendar Pad is a great widget that allows you more detail about your upcoming cal-padcalendar events than the stock widget. You can get the widget in various sizes and, most importantly, can choose if you want a day, week, or monthly view. I love using the full-screen 4x4 size widget in week view because you can quickly see what you have upcoming without having to launch the calendar app. Calendar Pad is incredibly easy to use if you are already using Google Calendar as it pulls information in without you having to do any manual imports. If you are someone who needs to keep track of multiple appointments or events Calendar Pad will help you keep organized (and on time). Free and paid versions are available with the Pro version offering added customization.[Market Link]

 

Reader comments

Android Central Editors' app picks for April 16, 2011

20 Comments

battery widgets don't do anything other than reflect what the system battery settings tell it. And when you have a 3500mAh battery on your EVO like I do... You actually USE your phone without worrying about not using usefui features.

Widgets are bad! To look at widgets, you have to turn on the screen! And the screen drains the battery!

:D

Jorte is another calendar with perfect google integration.

It also finds all google calendars that you have configured in google.

I've been using Calendar Pad almost as long as I have my Droid. I love it. It does everything I need and it's easier to read than the stock calendar.

I'd love it if you would review a location-aware to-do list. I've been looking though the Market and can't find one that seems trustworthy enough based on reviews and the permissions. Anyone have a favorite?

I used Remember the Milk when I just had my iPod touch and liked it well enough.. It's location based as well. It does have a subscription fee though.

Thanks chmckay, I tried Due Today and am VERY happy with it. As a Toodledo user, added benefit. Thanks!

Cool app theme this week. Another great one is widgetsoid, very customizable toggle widget that does anything you can think of, plus its free.

Battery Widgets most certainly drain battery. They are polling the system constantly. The only exception is the HTC widget...it displays system info. 3rd party apps have to poll to get the info. Don't believe me? Research it.

gTasks and Pure Calendar (and Pure Grid Calendar) are a lot more customizable as far as widgets go... Plus they're scrollable, that alone makes them awesome imo. gTasks does come with it's own widget too (though I prefer Pure's), it's serviceable, as a simple service to sync tasks with Google it's top notch though... Much simpler than more advanced stuff like RTM, which is great if you're like me and like to keep the to-do list simple.

The market reviews for Taskos looked pretty poor...

I do love Beautiful Widgets tho, it's infinitely customizable. I've ended up using the only weather orb without the clock (which looks great but after a while you realize how redundant it is), tons and tons of skins available (Tick is my fave atm), solid widgets included (though I prefer SwitchPro), the pop-up forecast/weather animation when clicked is awesome.

It's biggest strength is probably the variety of widget sizes and available skins, makes it easy to blend with any look; though I'm still not sold on the new Super versions, always seemed less detailed (though as advertised, it scales with resizing just great, BW comes with all versions).

As far as battery widgets, if you're rooted do yourself a favor and find a mod for your particular.ROM that simply adds the percentage to the stock battery icon. ;) There's even an online kitchen available that'll create it for many different ROMs (even stock ones), you just need to supply it with the framework file from your ROM and it does the rest.

If you don't have an idea what any of that meant, don't even bother... :p Just one of the many small customizing perks of rooting and messing with your device (and benefitting from the great work of others).

Oh and if you're not rooted, Beautiful Widgets itself includes a battery only widget with over a dozen great looking skins, FWIW... Though if I wasn't rooted I'd probably just use Battery Indicator Pro (notification pane/bar % display) or Quick Settings. Can't believe no one picked the latter for this article as it negates the need for many other home screen widgets on phones that don't already have notification pane settings toggles.

If you're rooted and running a Sense ROM these can be added on, it's a Cyanogen mod port, many ROMs come with it built in. If not, Quick Settings is a very decent replacement, just takes an extra click rather than the toggles being right on the notification pane. Newer HTC phones with the latest Server (Sensation & EVO 3D) will have this as well, I believe Samsung phones always did. Dunno why Google never though of it, just makes sense (no pun intended).

"Circle Battery Widget" doesn't work perfectly with the Motorola MileStone
& for Beautiful Widgets I didn't like the newer versions (3.4 & 3.5) so I'm still using the old one (3.3)

Thanks chmckay, I tried Due Today and am VERY happy with it. As a Toodledo user, added benefit. Thanks!